What's New

Major refurbishment of Manor Farm set to start this autumn

Long awaited plans for Manor Farm are one step closer to becoming a reality with the process to appoint a contractor to deliver £10m of improvements to around 300 homes and the surrounding neighbourhood getting underway.

Representatives from the Manor Farm Residents' Association interviewed shortlisted contractors and asked key questions about how contractors will work with the community and what added value they will bring to the scheme.

This extensive programme of work includes external wall insulation, new windows, new doors, new flat roofs, new boundary fencing and environmental works that complement the works that are carried out to the homes.

Once a contractor is appointed we will be able to talk in more detail to residents about the timescales for delivering the programme and start to answer questions about how the contractors will work on site.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

 

William engineers his path to success at Keepmoat

Newly promoted Assistant Engineer 22 year old William Mpoka, who lives in Stoke Heath, Coventry, is a shining example to the city’s young graduates of what you can achieve early in your career through commitment, hard work and determination.

South African born William, who only came to live in the UK when he was twelve years old, attended an employment open day five years ago organised by housing and regeneration specialist, Keepmoat in North East Coventry. Following that he was offered a six week placement in Keepmoat’s Land and Partnership department to gain experience for his Business Administration course at Henley College. But the placement proved so successful that Keepmoat offered him a job and he has been working there ever since.

William has spent time in Keepmoat’s Construction, Engineering, Commercial, Technical and Home Sales departments to understand the housebuilding cycle. The company has supported William’s education to expand his knowledge and passion for engineering in particular, and give him the skills to progress in the sector. His commitment has paid off, having recently completed his HNC in Civil Engineering and been promoted to the role of Keepmoat Assistant Engineer too.

He’s already working on a range of different schemes across the Midlands including Keepmoat’s developments in Cannock, Telford, Coleville and Stoke on Trent. In Coventry Keepmoat is into phase three of Spirit Quarters - a £360m housing redevelopment scheme to build 3,300 new homes in Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore.

William comments: “I never thought attending the open day with my friends would have resulted in such a good outcome.”

He continues: “I was voted Keepmoat Homes Trainee of the Year a few years ago which I was delighted with. The support they have given me is such a bonus and enabled me to take the next step towards professional qualifications for what I hope will be a long-term career in engineering and construction.”

Paul Degg, Keepmoat’s regional homes managing director, adds: “William impressed us from the moment we met him. When he started, he couldn’t drive and had to get a bus and two trains each way just to get to our office in Coleshill each day. Since then he has jumped at the chance to take part in every bit of training available to him.

“He has been consistently praised for his hard work, drive and ambition as well as his enthusiasm and desire to learn. His attitude sets a fine example for many young people considering their options, especially in the current market. William is a great ambassador for the company and we hope others will follow in his footsteps to choose a career in the construction industry. He definitely has a bright future ahead of him.”

 

Moving Support Group

We are a group of local residents here to help and support you through your re-housing

Members of the Moving Support Group will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.

Come along to our open get together at 12-2pm fortnightly on Wednesdays from 14th October at the Moat House Leisure & Neighbourhood Centre.

Please note we have moved from Whitefriars Regeneration Office on Hillmorton Rd to Moat House Leisure & Neighbourhood Centre, Winston Avenue, CV21EA.

Need help in your own language please call 024 7662 2964

 

Access to Apprenticeship Programme

Access to Apprenticeship programme are offering 15 places to help young people aged 16-24 who need an extra boost in gaining an apprenticeship placement.
 
Access to Apprenticeship is a two week programme, designed to help young people aged 16-24 who would like an apprenticeship, but need extra help in gaining one.
 
This programme helps you develop your employability skills so you can confidently apply for an apprenticeship either with us or with another employer.
 
We cannot guarantee an apprenticeship, but if you show the right attitude and commitment our dedicated team will work with you to help you achieve your goals. Many people who attended our previous programmes are now completing an apprenticeship with the Council.
 
Features and benefits of the programme
Designed and delivered by an employer
 

A chance to develop your commitment, reliability and work ethic
Support to apply for real apprenticeships within the Council
Valuable work experience opportunities
Certificate of completion
Reference provided

Week 1 and 2 includes classroom-based employability sessions, including, Customer Service, Confidence, interview skills and many more.
 
Course dates
The next Access to Apprenticeship programme runs from Monday 11 May to Friday 22 May 2015.
Sessions run from 9.30am - 1pm and will include two weeks of sessions on developing employability skills we value as an employer.
 
How to apply
Please complete the application form and return it by e-mail to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
 
Closing date
The closing date for all applications is:  1 May 2015
 
Additional information
If successful at the application form stage you will have to attend an initial interview on 6 May 2015: Please make sure you are able to attend all the above dates before applying for the Access to Apprenticeship Programme.
 
Dates for future programmes
 
28 September to 2 October 2015
1 to 12 February 2016
For further information about the Access to Apprenticeship Programme, please contact us.
 
Entry to Employment team
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel: 024 7683 3426
 
1b Lamb Street
Coventry
CV1 4AE
 
 

Community Cleans Up

Residents of Manor Farm in Coventry; were given the opportunity to have an old-fashioned Spring Clean of their homes and estate!

Supported by Moat House Community Trust, Whitefriars Housing and Coventry City Council; Manor Farm Residents Association organised a morning of graft by young and old alike.

Taking advantage of the April sunshine; the community enthusiastically worked together on the streets, grassed areas and parks – filling skips, litter-picking and generally caring for the area they live in.

Then whilst tucking into a well-earned barbecue back at Henley Green Community Centre; all those involved took the opportunity to catch up, share a joke and simply enjoy one another’s company.

 

Paul Degg

We are still seeing an increase in the demand for our homes with 31 of the 32 in phase 3 being sold.

With Keepmoat building out the last 2 phases of the development and with Persimmon building just down the road at Weavers Gate, I understand that there are several rumours circulating within the Community that our Partners – Bovis Homes and Persimmon Homes have walked away from the project. This simply is not TRUE.

I understand why rumours circulate and it is important to respond to these quickly and make you aware of the facts, which is the purpose of my letter to you.

We as BKW (Bovis, Keepmoat and Persimmon) are all very committed to complete the regeneration of the Spirit Quarters area. It is true there have been and there still are some very difficult financial challenges, but we are confident by working together with all the stakeholders to make the decisions that are right for the project we will overcome these challenges.

When we were awarded this project in 2007 the housing market was very buoyant and we believed as Developers the ‘sales market’ for the area would be able to cope with 3 major developers selling at the same time, within a stones throw of each other. The market is now very different to then and Phase 1 evidenced that for us. If we had continued with all 3 of us selling homes, we would not have been as successful as we have been. This is why Bovis and Persimmon were happy for Keepmoat to be the sole developer for phases 2 and 3 and forego their opportunity to sell homes on these phases – for the overall benefit of the project.

We, as BKW, are working very closely with Coventry Partners on the plans for the future phases of the project; which may still see in the future one developer building a phase out but which developer is as yet unknown.

Finally and to be very clear, Bovis Homes or Persimmon have not walked away from the project, they as Keepmoat are very committed to building on the success we have already achieved and deliver what we, Coventry Partners and you as a Community want and deserve – a transformed and vibrant area which we are all proud to be associated with.

Regards
Paul Degg

 

Spirit Quarters magazine editorial team

Behind every great publication like Spirit Quarters magazine, there’s a team.

A small team of resident volunteers Graham & Pam Randle, Janet & John Barrett, Sandy Smith & Lorna, Sheila Black & Diane Evans are supported by Whitefriars, Keepmoat, Coventry City Council and MHCT staff; to form the Editorial/Design Committee, which meets weekly on the run up to every publication; to bring you stories, updates, photos and information about the area and its development.

We are always looking for news and ideas from across the whole area.

Any of the residents are keen to hear from you with your suggestions, articles, photos etc. With notice Moat House Community Trust can also supply a photographer to capture and celebrate your activity or idea. You can also pass information through your Residents Association or contact Moat House Community Trust offices.

If you would like to know more or would like to join the group please contact MHCT.

Phone: 024 7662 2964

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or pop in to the MHCT office, (off reception at Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre)

 

Keepmoat keeps it in the team

We’ve currently got a team of eight Keepmoat staff on site at Spirit Quarters, but we manage a wider team of around fifty subcontractors, so the ability to work as part of a group is one of the key skills we look for in employees.

The eight members of staff currently on site have worked together for over a year and there’s a great team spirit which contributes to the sense of community at the development.

We believe strongly in helping our employees to develop and are continually looking to help them progress up through the ranks. For example, our new assistant site manager started off as a tradesman three years ago and was then promoted to trainee site manager before being given his current role.

We’ve also got a fantastic apprentice at Spirit Quarters. 21-year-old Jade Bennett is training to become a plumber with us, and earned her apprenticeship after completing an initial six-month placement. There was no doubt in our minds about wanting to offer her a longer-term opportunity after seeing how dedicated and hard-working she is.

Investing in our staff, recruiting from the local area and offering apprenticeships are just some of the ways in which we’re able to give back to our employees and the communities in which we work.

We also integrate closely with our subcontractors, despite them working independently of us on a day to day basis, to ensure continuity in the standard of work. The subcontractors that we use have a long heritage with the site, and have been working on the project for the past three years. They are very familiar with the types of houses that we build, the specification and the finish, and work really well with us as a site team.

Community relations are very important to us too, so we’re in regular contact with all project partners as well as the residents’ committee. Our sales team stays in touch with our buyers after they’ve moved in to make sure they are settling into their new home, because we like to build more than just homes – we build communities.

The ground workers we use on site have been with us from the very first spade. M Lambe Construction Ltd are a Birmingham based company, with many employees from Coventry, making it easy to get to work. Sean McHale is the M Lambes project manager on site here at Spirit Quarters since the beginning and is very happy with the way the team works and the atmosphere in which we work in.

Also in the picture we have Anthony Jones, a carpenter for TJ’s Carpentry Services. He originally started on site as an apprentice back in 2010, and then progressing onto completing his apprenticeship with TJ’s Carpentry Services. Anthony has now been a fully qualified carpenter and worked for TJ’s Carpentry Services for almost 3 years. He thanks Keepmoat Homes for assisting him in his first couple of steps into the trade and introducing his talents to Duncan Traylor and Wayne Jones (The directors of TJ’S Carpentry Services), and for helping him get where he is today.

Dave Marshall
Site Supervisor at Keepmoat

 

New Year New Jobs?

Henley College Coventry has over 50 Apprenticeship jobs for immediate start with local employers!
Come and see our Apprenticeship recruitment team in:

West Orchards Shopping Centre,
11.00am - 4.30pm,
26th - 31st January

or call 024 7662 6306

 

New Year’s Honours Awards

Residents of Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Bell Green came together on Jan 17th at St Chad’s church to show their appreciation and give thanks for the volunteers who have done so much for their communities.

The New Year’s Awards Evening was created by Lisa Harasym, a Community Development Officer for Coventry City Council and the Revd. Andrew Fisher, Vicar of St Chad’s. Lisa and Andrew felt that the area had a mostly undeserved bad press and instead they wanted the communities to come together and celebrate the many unsung heroes who give their time, energy, money and food to help those around them.

Lisa and Andrew spoke with Whitefriars Housing and colleagues from the Childrens Centre & Youth Services. Articles were submitted to the local newspapaers and Spirit Quarters magazine, posters went up in the community noticeboards & nomination forms & ballot boxes were put into community venues; schools, leisure centres, libraries, community centres, cafes and churches.

Rev. Andrew Fisher said, “The very people who give so much wouldn’t call themselves community champions, nor would they think that were doing anything extraordinary. They don’t volunteer once or twice, they come back summer and winter, week after week day after day. They probably think of themselves merely as being good neighbours, just helping out - not realising the impact of their actions.”

Lisa Harasym continued, “The generosity of residents is not unique to this area, it can be seen across the city. But the way that people from Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Bell Green give, without recognition or expectation of reward, just to make the area a better place, is why we wanted to hold the Awards.”

Awards were presented by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Hazel Noonan, Commander of Coventry Police, Supt Claire Bell and Kevin Roach (Whitefriars/Spirit Quarters). Donna Milliner Community Involvement Officer for Whitefriars and Alistair Black, Headteacher of Moathouse Primary School served on the panel of judges.

Those nominated by residents for awards were: Janet and John Barrett “Helping with something or somebody Moat House & Wood End. Always very pleasant and in the know.”

Nathan Beale “Saving a guy’s life, not taking credit”

Bell Green Area Tenants and Residents Association “Dedication to keeping the area looking nice, they are seen through all seasons and all weathers maintaining the planters in Riley Square, making life better for local people.”

Bell Green Police Force “For going above & beyond the line of duty. Tidying up Bell Green on a litter pick, always being professional & helpful”

Holly and Chris Brown “Helped set up a stay-and-play toddler group for the area.” Hannah and Paul Gregory (who helped set up and run the 12th Coventry Boys’ Brigade & Girls’ Association). “Reach out to the children in the community helping them learn & have fun.

Andrew Fisher “Making great impact within parish, putting others first & helping bring the community together.”

Gloria Fitton “Works hard for everybody in the area including children’s clubs & breakfast clubs”

Brian Hewkin “Always doing pastoral care in homes of our elderly and the care homes.”

Lorraine Page “Gives children a free breakfast in church, plus support and spiritual support.”

Gavin Lloyd “Will always help anyone in need & go out of his way to help others. Great community person, supports activities & meetings going on in surrounding areas, raises money for charity. Supportive friend”

Suzanne Naylor “Always goes that extra mile for others.”

Martin Smith. “Works tirelessly for the whole North East area on so many committees and associations”

Sue and Steve Spreadborough “Help a lot of people in the community and speak for those who can’t”

Katy Thane “Always puts others before herself.”

Rose & Alan Tyrrell “Aware of needs of youth & children, supportive of local police & work on Moat house board. Goes out of their way to help people, good relationships with children in the area and supportive of local events.”

Lisa and Andrew wanted to show all the people nominated that not only were they recognised and appreciated but most importantly that it was the people whom they live amongst who voted for them - their neighbours and those who volunteer with them. Everyone who was voted for received the recognition they deserved.

Andrew commented, “In response to the observation that volunteers are too often seen as amateurs, just remember: Noah's Ark was built by amateurs. The Titanic was built by professionals.”

If you live in Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm or Bell Green, look out for the New Year’s Awards in January 2016, and think about who you might like to nominate!

 

Coventry comes out on top in annual healthcheck report

Coventry is officially one of the best performing cities in the country for jobs growth, patents granted and business growth over the past decade.

According to the Centre of Cities Annual Outlook report, Coventry has done well in a number of key areas.

The report, which is an annual healthcheck report into 64 cities, has also this year covered the changing fortune of the cities’ economies over the past decade.

It shows that over the past ten years a handful of cities have been responsible for national growth – mainly in the south. But the report reveals Coventry has also done well.

Over the past decade Coventry is ninth for highest business growth (up 22.2 per cent), seventh for highest jobs growth (up 8.4 per cent), sixth for highest private sector jobs growth (rising by 8.4 per cent) and fourth for patents issued per 100,000 of the population – many of these in the automotive sector.

Over the past year the city is ranked tenth highest for housing stock growth with 1,000 more homes in 2013 than in 2012, second for private sector jobs growth with 7,800 more in 2013 than in 2012 and first for population growth – up 2.1 per cent.

Coventry is also one of only four cities outside south east where people earn above the national average wage – the average Coventry wage is £518 a week, making it 11th highest in the country.

But only Birmingham is ranked below Coventry in the percentage of people with no formal qualification, with Coventry’s at 15.8 per cent and the city is 59th out of the 64 cities for overall employment rate.

Coun Ann Lucas said “There’s some really good news for the city in this report. It shows that our drive to deliver more jobs in the city is paying off, and the growth of jobs in the private sector is particularly important for the city’s future.

“It’s also good to see that Coventry has the same appetite for invention and innovation it’s had for centuries with our high ranking on patents issued.

“But we’re not complacent. Our figures for people without the skills and qualifications needed in the growing jobs market show that we must continue our drive to deliver more growth and skill up our population. And although the growth in jobs here is in the top ten in the country, we have a lot more to do to drive down unemployment rates.”

“We've always been clear that skills are vital if we are to continue delivering economic growth and success.

“That calls for working across education, business and other partners so people have the skills and qualifications to take the jobs that are coming to the city. The LEP has already begun to lead this work and we’ll work with partners to focus relentlessly on this over the coming year.

“The report also calls for significant devolution of fiscal and structural power to address the growing divide between north and south. It’s clear that in order to build on our success we need the ability to make key decisions locally.”

By Jenny Waddington

 

Helpful Hints & Moving Tips

• The Whitefriars Regeneration Team can manage your move from start to finish. This includes arranging for a professional removal firm to provide packing boxes and move your belongings to your new home. If you decide to arrange your move yourself, ask friends to help.

• Once a moving date is agreed, let your gas, electric and water suppliers know where you are moving to. Take meter readings from your current home on the day of your move.

• Go to the post office and arrange for your post to be re-directed to your new home.

• Make a list of everyone who should know about your move, your child’s school, DWP, Housing Benefits, bank, Doctors & Dentist. If you are moving out of the area you may need to register with a new GP or Dental Surgery

• Check your home insurance- ensure you have cover from the day you move into your new home. If you don’t currently have home insurance, call the Housing Office in Riley Square on 024 76 708400 who can send you an information leaflet.

 

Raising The Roof On Home Improvements

As part of the ongoing commitment to improve the standard and quality of homes in Spirit Quarters, WM Whitefriars Housing have appointed Wates Living Space to carry out a major facelift to 214 properties in Wood End. Homes that were previously identified for demolition but are now being retained following the review of the Masterplan, will soon benefit from external wall insulation including some brick effect render, new double glazed windows and doors and new roofs.

With physical improvements due to start in the Spring, Liaison Officers from Whitefriars and Wates will be starting to contact residents to discuss how the improvement works will affect them and what benefits they can expect to see in the energy efficiency of their home.

Robert Swain, Whitefriars Project Manager for the scheme said “Customers whose homes already benefit from external wall insulation tell us that it has made a real difference to their quality of life. Their homes are warmer and whole streets look as if they have had a facelift. The improvement planned for homes in Wood End will have a real impact on the appearance of the area as well as making our homes more energy efficient.

Claudette Glave, Senior Liaison Officer (Wates Living Space) also said “We know that the scale of the improvements being carried out in Wood End will mean a certain amount of disruption and disturbance for residents. Once work begins we will be meeting with customers on a near-daily basis to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible”.

Owner occupiers are also being given an opportunity to buy into the scheme with Wates carrying out an initial Green Deal Assessment free of charge. Based on this assessment, owners will be supported to apply for a Government funded grant to help meet the costs of the improvement works.

In addition to the Wood End programme, a further nine homes in Watcombe Close, Henley Green will also benefit from external wall insulation. This complements the 700 homes in Spirit Quarters that have already been improved through similar schemes.

For further information on this scheme please contact George Randhawa on 024 76 587067.

 

New Year, New Start, New Homes

2015 is going to be a year of change for many residents whose homes are affected by the redevelopment plans for Wood End. What better way is there to reassure residents about the moving process than to talk to a family who moved into to a new Whitefriars home and welcomed a new baby into their family within the space of a week!

Sheila Hadebe and daughter Sue Mbulawa moved into the last of the new homes handed over to Whitefriars on the newly completed Phase 2 of the Spirit Quarters development, which has seen in total 230 new homes built, 65 of which have been provided to Whitefriars.

Both were delighted when they were given an opportunity to move in November 2014. Timing however is everything and with Sue expecting to give birth a week before the moving date they gladly accepted help from the Whitefriars Regeneration Team, who arranged their move from start to finish. Another helping hand came from the Moving Support Group, a group of local volunteers some of whom have been through the re-housing process.

Janet Barrett, local resident and Moving Support Group co-ordinator said. “we were delighted as always to support Sheila and Sue in their move. From measuring windows for new curtains to offering practical advice, its part of what the Moving Support Group was formed to do”

Sheila said. “We were delighted when Whitefriars approached us and offered us this move. As local residents already we have watched the Spirit Quarters development flourish and are so pleased to now actually live in a new home and be a part of it”

 

Play Area Update

On 26th August, and adjacent to Dragonfly Close, work started on the installation of the much anticipated new play area. The main play area has been prepared and is ready for the “eco rubber mulch” surfacing. This will provide a safe and durable surface surrounding key areas of the play equipment which includes gravity bowls, rota bounce, mega swings and a large embankment side, together with “training buddies” in colours reflecting that of the Spirit Quarters logo. We will keep you updated on progress and once all the equipment has been installed and the area given time to re-establish itself a community event will be held, planned by Whitefriars Housing, Moat House Community Trust, Deedmore Residents Group, WERAF, members of Regeneration Action Team and community.

 

Amazing Demand For Keepmoat Homes

We always knew Spirit Quarters was going to be popular. The location, the choice of homes and the vision behind the development ticks all the right boxes. No wonder it has already picked up so many awards. But I’ve got to admit, even I’ve been bowled over by the incredible demand for our latest phase.

We launched our eagerly awaited Phase 3 of Spirit Quarters back in May. Our plan is to build a further 232 homes, 174 of which are for private sale and 58 affordable homes. The previous two phases were really popular, and we sold all our homes very quickly. But demand for Phase 3 has broken all records. And it’s not hard to see why.

The development is now a well-established thriving community and today’s buyers can see how it’s taken shape. Hardly, surprising then that more people want to be part of the Spirit Quarters success story.

All of our 18 homes released so far have been snapped up by very happy families, professionals and first time buyers. We are working hard to make more homes available soon. Once again, we’ve got lots of people on our database ready to secure a number of these.

The demand for Keepmoat homes at Spirit Quarters really has been amazing and we’re really proud to be part of a development that’s creating a real sense of community pride in the area.

 

Councillor Kevin Maton

Ward Councillor for Henley ward was re-elected in the local election in May and is now the cabinet member for Business, Enterprise and Employment. With lots going on in the city it’s an important role at the Council and Kevin said: “I’m really delighted with my new appointment. It’s a very wide remit but one I am looking forward to.

I’ve always had great support from the local community and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with Moat House Trust on their employment agenda.

The next year will be an important one for Coventry with lots of regeneration work underway or about to start.

I will be working hard to ensure the benefits are felt across the city because everyone knows the biggest factor in leading a healthy and successful life is having a job. My Cabinet role will address issues right across the City but I know the community here will help me keep my feet on the ground and I will not lose sight of the importance of issues in this part of Coventry. There’s clearly a lot to do and it will be a challenge but it’s definitely a challenge that I’m up for.”

 

Not just jobs for boys

21 year old Jade Bennett is flying the flag for women in construction and has recently won an award for her efforts. Jade started her training with a six week Job Centre scheme with Whitefriars Housing, where she learned basic tiling, plastering and plumbing before moving on to a six month placement at Spirit Quarters with Keepmoat, through Coventry City Council’s Shared Apprentice Scheme.

Jade is now well into a full-time plumbing apprenticeship with Keepmoat and is continuing to work on the Spirit Quarters redevelopment.

At the launch of Coventry City Council’s Employer Hub; Cllr Lynnette Kelly, Coventry City Council Cabinet Member, congratulated Jade: “Jade has done incredibly well. Her determination has enabled her to secure her chosen career path and excel in it. The Outstanding Placement award proves this.”

Neil Garrity, Apprentice and Trainee Co-ordinator at Keepmoat, said: “In my 30 years of experience.

I have never come across anyone as dedicated and hardworking as Jade. Despite definite employment prospects in a site office, Jade pursued her passion to become a plumber. The only female on site ‘Jade proves that plumbing isn’t just a job for the boys’!”

Jade said: “I gained experience volunteering, but struggled to find paid work. I am now earning and learning; enjoy site working, the guys have been great, and it’s fun; this award is just the icing on the cake.”

Keepmoat is expected to deliver almost 240 new homes at Spirit Quarters over the next four years in Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore neighbourhoods.

Jade added: “Spirit Quarters development is a great place to work. I should be qualified by completion: I will see the scheme come to life as people move into new homes that I have helped build.”

 

Trainee of the year

In 2010 William Mpoka attended an “Employment Open Day” held by Keepmoat in Coventry. The careers fair was part of a large scale housing regeneration project known as Spirit Quarters. As part of the project BKW are working in partnership with a number of key training providers in the Coventry area, these include Coventry City Council, Whitefriars Housing Group and BAM Construct UK. A training and employment sub group was established to ensure that the needs of the community were addressed with respect to opportunities available within the development.

At the event William enquired about a short term work placement in an office environment whilst he awaited commencement of a Business Administration course at Henley College, Coventry.

Keepmoat were able to provide a 6 week placement within the Land and Partnership department, supported by a grant from the European Social Fund, the placement proved so successful that William became directly employed by Keepmoat.

In order to gain a full understanding of the company and the construction industry William undertook secondments in a number of departments including six months on-site with construction, three months with technical, commercial and finally back on the Spirit Quarters scheme working alongside the Sales Team. He consistently approached each of these with enthusiasm, commitment and a desire to learn.

Following all his placements William chose to join the Technical team full time as a Technical coordinator. This involves a range of activities such as: • Project co-ordinating build from start to finish

• Ensuring all services are diverted and in place ready for construction to begin
• Drainage aspects of the project
•Ensuring Legal Agreements are in place (S104, S38 etc)

He is also continuing his studies at Coventry University working towards an HNC in Civil Engineering equipping him with the skills and knowledge to progress in the industry.

William said “I never thought that attending the open day with friends would have resulted in such a good outcome. Keepmoat is a fantastic company to work for and has supported me fully. After my HNC I want to progress on to a BSc in Civil Engineering which will take a further two years.” William was voted Keepmoat Homes Trainee of the year 2011/2012.

 

Sowe Valley Park

Work on a new play area in Spirit Quarters is due to begin this Summer. The play area will be built on open space, near to Petitor Crescent and completes the first phase of the redevelopment of Spirit Quarters.

Early in the regeneration programme, local children were asked what they would like to see in their new play area. These ideas have been transformed into a plan which includes a mega swing, slides and more natural elements of play such as stepping stones and balance beams. A special safety surface is being used in key areas, which will blend in with the natural green environment and the inclusion of ‘training buddies’ to encourage outdoor exercise at several trail points along the river footpath means that people of all ages can enjoy the improvements along the River Sowe.

Local resident Ray Maher said “ We are really pleased to see the plans for the new play area taking shape. The kids are going to love it”

The new play area will also link with other planned improvements to the green areas along the River Sowe including, natural play equipment and improvements to Chippy Fields, which will be delivered during the next phase of the redevelopment programme.

 

Community Christmas Fayre

Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre Christmas Fayre 14 December 2013

This Saturday, 14 December, Moat House Community Trust will be holding a Christmas Fayre in the Moat House Leisure and Community Centre, Winston Avenue. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress will open the event at 1pm and entry is free.

Children from Moat House Primary school are singing carols to get everyone in the festive mood and other attractions include Father Christmas Grotto, Christmas stalls, information stands, face painting, arts and crafts, a bouncy castle, penalty shootout, cheerleaders, African food, a barbeque and much more.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Gary Crookes, said “We always look forward to Christmas events and the Moat House Christmas Fayre is a great free event for local people to get into the Christmas spirit.”

Councillor Kevin Maton, ward councillor, added “There is always great local community support for fabulous events like this. Lots of people give a lot of time and effort to make these events the success they are and our thanks go out to all involved. I hope everyone enjoys the Christmas Fayre and it sets you up nicely for the forthcoming festivities.”

The Moat House Christmas Fayre has been organised in conjunction with Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre, Coventry Sports Trust, Whitefriars Regeneration, Spirit Quarters, Neighbourhood Action and Neighbourhood Wardens and the Group for the Leadership of African Women.

 

Keepmoat: Building Homes and Dreams

In an area where 1 in 5 young people between the ages of 18 to 25 are either not in employment or training, the Spirit Quarters development is making a profound and lasting impact.

As part of the City Council’s Job Strategy for young people, the partnership of Keepmoat, Whitefriars, BAM Construct UK, City College Coventry and Coventry City Council are working together in providing local young people the opportunity to join their Shared Apprenticeship Scheme.

By BAM directly employing local young people the partnership facilitates construction companies to not only invest in the regeneration and redevelopment of an entire community but is also invest in future generations by improving young people's future prospects and changing their lives for the better.

Cllr Lynnette Kelly, Cabinet Member for City Development, said: "I am pleased that young people have the opportunity to sign up for apprenticeships in a construction environment. I sincerely hope that they can learn their trade and carry on working in the industry at the highest level."

The Apprenticeship scheme provides young people with invaluable on the job training that makes them extremely sought after in the construction industry whilst supporting their further education and then offers them the opportunity to progress their careers further within the organisations and improves their motivation and attitude to work all while earning a wage.

 

Award winning community-led development opens new show home at Celebration Event

The new sales office on Hillmorton Road, Wood End is the hub for the 230 new homes, which are part of the multi-million redevelopment of Wood End, Henley Green, Deedmore and Manor Farm, known as Spirit Quarters.

The Spirit Quarters scheme was launched in 2010 and the contemporary two, three and four bedroom homes in the first phase of development have now sold out. Developers Keepmoat are now releasing more homes in phase two of the development. Eamonn McInerney, Group Sales and Marketing Director of Keepmoat said, “with a good range of properties built to suit young couples, first time buyers or growing families, Spirit Quarters is a unique and great place to live, work and play and with a great community ‘spirit’, it's proving very popular as the interest and sales so far suggest.”

Cabinet Member for City Development, Cllr Lynnette Kelly said, “Winning the Best Community Led Regeneration Scheme competition at the National Regeneration & Renewal awards proves what a successful model for community regeneration the Spirit Quarters project is, despite the tough economic context. Founded in strong partnerships, Spirit Quarters is already contributing to the overall development of Coventry by offering employment and training opportunities, apprenticeship placements and new family homes.”

Dianne Williams, Vice-Chair of the Moat House Community Trust said, “There is a strong community spirit here, the glue that holds the success of this development together. Spirit Quarters demonstrates what can be achieved when local residents are given a genuine voice from the outset. It is they who’ve helped to shape this development and who understand its benefits and remaining challenges.”

John O’Shea, Vice-Chair of Whitefriars Housing Group, which is one of the regeneration project’s key partners, said “Spirit Quarters is a shining example of what Whitefriars strives to achieve in ‘Creating Places where people are proud to live and work’. I am confident that with the continued support of the community and our partners - Coventry City Council, Moat House Community Trust and the Homes and Communities Agency, that we will continue to make the much needed changes that this area deserves.”

 

Spirit Quarters wins prestigious award

Coventry's largest housing redevelopment scheme has scooped a national award for its commitment to putting the community at the heart of the scheme.

Spirit Quarters, the major redevelopment scheme of Wood End, Henley Green, Deedmore and Manor Farm neighbourhoods has won the award for 'Best Community Led Regeneration Scheme' at the annual Regeneration and Renewal Awards.

Out of 223 entries across 14 categories and adjudicated by a panel 45 judges Spirit Quarters won the prestigious award of 'Best Community Led Regeneration Scheme in England'.

Vicky Scott, resident and chair of Deedmore Residents Association, attended the event and proudly collected the award on behalf of the community. She said: "This is an award for the whole community and has been a long time coming. For 12 years residents past and present have worked tirelessly and selflessly to create a community that we can all be proud of being a part of and living in."

Steve Carr, head of economic assets at the HCA and one of the judges in the community led category, said: "It was the local people at Spirit Quarters that blew us away as a judging panel. Meeting Janet, Vicky, Alan and Dianne and seeing their commitment to transforming their area was inspiring, to say the least. Their knowledge, confidence and the years they have dedicated to bringing about physical change in the area is fantastic and I am now pleased to say - award-winning. A very well done to all the partners involved at Spirit Quarters."

Kevin Roach, project director for Whitefriars, which is one of the partners responsible for the delivery of the £360million regeneration and redevelopment scheme, said: "I am extremely proud that Spirit Quarters has been recognised and that the passion and commitment of the community has been acknowledged. My hope is that other communities across England will see the successes and achievements of Spirit Quarters, and how it has transformed people's lives and communities, and want to emulate us. Like us, I hope other neighbourhoods build a stronger cohesive community spirit."

Cllr Lynnette Kelly, Cabinet Member for City development, said: "Everywhere in Coventry I come across people and organisations who are proud of their community and their city – but not everyone wins an award! It is even more pleasing that the redevelopment is in my ward! Seriously - it proves to a national audience that Coventry residents continue to be proud of their city – and want people to know it!"

The Regeneration and Renewal Awards of 2012, supported by the HCA, acknowledges and celebrates good practice across the regeneration sector.

 

Spirit Quarters scheme shortlisted for top award

Coventry's largest housing redevelopment scheme, Spirit Quarters, is up for a national award at the 2012 Regeneration and Renewal Awards.

The £360m scheme has been shortlisted in the best Community-led Regeneration category at the renowned industry awards for its commitment to putting the community in the driving seat for the scheme.

Ranging from strong consultation and community engagement with the wider community, through to resident decision-making, the scheme has proven that it is one of the best in the country.

Martin Smith, resident in Henley Green and chair of the Regeneration Action Team, said: "Residents have played an important part of the regeneration in this neighbourhood from the very start as we were successful in securing the New Deal for Communities funding which helped kick-start the scheme.

We have been involved in selecting a developer, producing a regular newsletter, a Residents Charter and also choosing design codes for the new properties as well as setting up support groups for people moving house – to name a few examples. We have also had good support from the partners involved in the scheme too, so it's right that we all share in the success of this award."

The Spirit Quarters scheme is the largest of its kind in Coventry and the third largest in the Midlands. It benefits from government support and investment through the Homes and Communities Agency.

Kevin Roach, Spirit Quarters Project Director, said: "I am very pleased that the scheme is getting the recognition it deserves. The residents have worked extremely hard over the past 12 years to transform their neighbourhood and I am looking forward to the judging panel's visit where residents can show off what they have achieved.”

The winners of the awards will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony in London in November and if you would like to see what makes Spirit Quarters award-winning, watch a short film about their journey at www.moathousecommunitytrust.co.uk

 

New street named after community champion

Community champion Clare McManus will be remembered in her neighbourhood forever, after residents decided to name a new street in her honour.

Clare McManus Way will be one of ten new streets which are being created as part of the second phase at the Spirit Quarters redevelopment in North Coventry. The new street is named after Clare, a much loved community advocate who sadly passed away in 2008.

Local residents who are involved in the regeneration of their neighbourhood voted for the street to be named in memory of the committed volunteer who helped set up and then run her local community centre in Wood End for over 30 years.

"We are of course delighted to know that this new street is being named in my mums memory, it will be a lovely way to remember her contribution to the people of Wood End," said daughter Clare Nurden.

During her time running the centre, Clare also became a Justice of the Peace in Coventry and people would often turn to her for advice and support and help with passport references. This was a role she did for over 20 years, a testament to her trustworthy character.

In 2003 Clare was also recognised for her commitment to the people of Wood End after being nominated as a local hero in the Coventry Telegraph Pride Awards. In the same year she was also made a MBE (Member of the British Empire) for the hard work and was presented a medal from HRH Prince Charles.

"Mum was very well known in the Wood End community so to have a new street named after her is just a real honour," said Clare.

Martin Smith, Chair of the residents Regeneration Action Team said: "There was a unanimous vote when it came to deciding on this particular street name. The Spirit Quarters redevelopment is set to change the future of our area but we still want to remember our past."

Spirit Quarters is one of the largest housing regeneration schemes in the Midlands, offering a mix of affordable housing, low cost ownership and private properties for sale. The partnership project is managed by Whitefriars Housing, Coventry City Council, the Homes and Communities Agency, Moat House Community Trust and developer consortium - Bovis Homes, Keepmoat Homes and Westbury Partnerships.

Work on the first phase of the £360m scheme started in 2010 when Sir Bob Kerslake, now Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government, visited the site. Since then 154 new homes have been built with a further 230 on the way.

 

Community Games brings Olympic spirit

Residents in Coventry are coming together to host their own Community Games this weekend as part of pre-Olympic celebrations.

Local people living in Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore have organised the Spirit Quarters Community Games this Saturday at Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre on Winston Avenue.

The free event will start with an opening ceremony at 12pm and is themed around the popular comedy game show 'It's a Knockout' where visitors can compete against each other by completing tasks like squirting water cannons, egg and spoon race and a tug of war.

Vicky Scott, a member of the residents organising committee, said: "The Spirit Quarters Community Games is our very own mini Olympics and we hope everyone will come along on the day to take part in what promises to be a fun filled day! All our games are suitable for young and old and our main aim is to get everyone into the Olympic spirit!"

Residents have been planning the sporting event over the last few months after receiving funding from Heart of England Community Foundation. The event has also been sponsored by the Spirit Quarters redevelopment, Whitefriars Housing, Coventry City Council and Moat House Community Trust.

At the end of the event there will be a special closing ceremony where winners will be awarded with trophies and medals to mark the special occasion. For more information about this event please contact Moat House Leisure Centre on 024 7684 1720.

 

Spirit Quarters is third largest in housing regeneration ranking

Coventry's £360m Spirit Quarters scheme is classed as the third largest housing regeneration project in the West Midlands.

The community-led housing redevelopment in the WEHM area (Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore) is third in Planning magazine's annual regeneration table for the West Midlands which is categorised by investment, progress development and job creation.

The scheme, which began on site in 2010, started its second phase earlier this year after completing the build of 154 homes opposite Henley College. The project is a partnership between both public and private partners and will bring over 3,000 new homes to the four estates, improving the lives of more than 7,000 residents.

"As the third largest housing regeneration project in the West Midlands, we are pleased with the progress we have made on the scheme. Sales have been strong at Spirit Quarters despite a tough housing market thanks to investment from the governments Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and continued commitment from the community, developers and partners involved in the scheme," said Kevin Roach, Spirit Quarters Project Director.

Councillor Lynnette Kelly, Cabinet Member for City Development at Coventry City Council said: "I am delighted that we have come so high up on the list and I'm pleased to see Spirit Quarters recognised as such a major investment – especially as other developments across the country are struggling to maintain momentum in the current economic climate.

"Since start on site this scheme has gone from strength to strength with demand for homes in the area on the increase. We always knew that this development would create jobs and create a new pride in the area so it's especially nice to have this recognised."

Top 5 housing regeneration projects in the West Midlands


 

Project

Investment required (£m)

Jobs created

Description

1

Regenerating North Solihull

1,000

61

Housingled project to the south east of Birmingham

2

Longbridge

640

1,060

The redevelopment of a former car factory in Birmingham

3

Spirit Quarters Coventry

360 141

Redevelopment of 1950s and 1960s housing in Coventry

4

Attwood Green

322

Unknown

Redevelopment of 5 Birmingham housing estates

5

Pride in Camp Hill

212

Unknown

Mixed-use scheme in Nuneaton

The West Midlands Top Five table has been taken from the Top 100 regeneration projects which is published every year by Planning magazine in association with Regeneration and Renewal magazine. For more information about the publication please visit www.planningresource.co.uk/go/top100_2012

 

Residents celebrate as next phase kicks off at Spirit Quarters

Local residents and partners were in high spirits when work started on site for a further 230 new homes at Coventry’s largest redevelopment scheme.

Spirit Quarters, the £360m scheme in the north of the city, will now start its second phase as part of a masterplan to regenerate the Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore neighbourhoods.

The second phase will bring 144 new homes for sale, 60 for affordable rent and 26 for low cost home-ownership along Lapworth Road and River Walk in Wood End. Sales have been strong at Spirit Quarters despite a tough housing market thanks to investment from the governments Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) and continued commitment from developers and partners involved in the scheme.

Janet Barratt, a Wood End resident who has been closely involved in the redevelopment said: “It’s fantastic to see some action on the ground as it’s something the people in this area have been looking forward to for a long time. We’ve seen how the redevelopment has progressed down the road in Deedmore and now we can’t wait to see new homes being built in Wood End.”

Construction work at Spirit Quarters, one of the largest housing redevelopment schemes in the Midlands, started last summer with the build of 154 homes at the former Deedmore School site. The scheme is being delivered through a partnership made up of Whitefriars Housing, Coventry City Council, the Homes and Communities Agency, Moat House Community Trust and a developer consortium - Bovis Homes, Keepmoat Homes and Westbury Partnerships.

Paul Degg, Managing Director at Keepmoat Homes Midlands said: "Since we started on site in 2010, we have been bucking the national home buying trend with a rate of nine houses sold a month. This scheme is like no other in Coventry as it offers some great facilities in an up and coming neighbourhood and we look forward to building new homes as part of the regeneration in 2012."

Mick Rawson, Chair of Whitefriars Housing said: “As one of the founding members of this regeneration scheme, it’s fantastic to see the second phase come to life. With the support of our Partners and Community, we’ve helped steer this project through the economic slow down and helped ensure that it remains an ongoing scheme, so it feels wonderful to see our plans turn into reality.”

Lindsey Richards, Head of Midlands South for the HCA said: “Maintaining momentum and ensuring that partners can continue to deliver this scheme for local people is crucial to the HCA and we are pleased our investment continues to make this happen. There is a strong commitment collectively across the partnership and community to keep this scheme on track and working together, we are demonstrating what can be achieved despite very difficult market conditions.”

Councillor Linda Bigham, Cabinet Member for City Development said: "This is a major milestone for the project which will bring more affordable homes to buy and rent for people living in north Coventry. I'm delighted that, when all around the country projects have ground to halt, not only are we going strong – but homes are being sold and reserved before they have even been built. Its really good news for the area and for the wider city."

The Spirit Quarters redevelopment scheme is part of the wider regeneration of the neighbourhood which has already seen £54m of government investment. Three new schools, new play areas, improved green space and the award-winning Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre are just some of the facilities which are already in place. An environmental improvement project is also underway to create a new footpath and cycle lanes along the River Sowe in preparation for the 2012 Olympics relay on the 23rd June.

 

Time capsule marks first phase completion

Long distance running legend David Moorcroft OBE provided a helping hand to bury a specially prepared time capsule at Coventry's largest redevelopment scheme this week.

The one time 5,000m world record holder joined members of the community and key partners to mark the completion of the first phase at the Spirit Quarters scheme in north Coventry.

The specially prepared time capsule was buried under new landscaping at Dering Close and contained details about everything from the cost of bread to petrol prices along with historical photos of the area. The purpose of the capsule is to demonstrate to future generations what life was like before the redevelopment started.

"I'm honoured to have been invited to bury the time capsule to mark this key milestone in the regeneration of Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore. I have many memories of this neighbourhood as my wife used to work at Deedmore Primary and I would often come running here when I was training at the peak of my career. It's great to see the changing face of the neighbourhood and celebrate this with local people today," said David Moorcroft.

Work on the first phase of the £360m scheme started last summer when Sir Bob Kerslake, former Chief Executive at the Governments Homes and Communities Agency, visited the site. Since then 154 new homes have been built, a mix of affordable housing, low cost ownership and private properties for sale.

Sales have been strong at the scheme despite a tough housing market and investment from the governments Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) as well as continued commitment from the developers and partners involved in the scheme.

Janet Barratt, a member of residents Regeneration Action Team said: "It's been a really special day and residents are feeling really positive about the future of their area. When the time capsule is found in years to come, we hope local people get a sense of what life was like before Spirit Quarters."

Spirit Quarters is one of the largest housing regeneration schemes in the Midlands and is being delivered through a partnership made up of Whitefriars Housing, Coventry City Council, the HCA, Moat House Community Trust and a developer consortium - Bovis Homes, Keepmoat Homes and Westbury Partnerships.

Mick Rawson, Chair of Whitefriars Housing, one of the redevelopment partners, said: “We’re delighted that David attended the event and that he has such fond memories of the area, which has always boasted excellent community spirit.

“Completing the first phase of development in such a challenging economic era is a massive achievement and I’d like to thank all of our partners, and especially the residents for helping us get this far. And of course this is only the start, as the transformation of the area is ongoing. I very much hope that David will come back to visit us again in the future to see the end result.”

 

A warm welcome for 100th homeowner

Local residents welcomed neighbours to their new home after Coventry’s largest housing redevelopment saw the completion of its 100th property.

Mike and Cherlyn Rees, who previously lived on the Woodloes Estate in Warwick, purchased their three-bedroomed semi at Spirit Quarters making them the 100th resident on the £360m redevelopment, taking place in Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore.

To mark the momentous occasion Vicky Scott, Chair of the local residents association, welcomed the new family who moved in earlier this year by presenting them with a bouquet of flowers.

"It was a lovely surprise receiving the flowers! We've been here for over a month and we're very happy. It's very peaceful and tranquil here," said new mum Cherlyn.

"When we bought the property in November I was heavily pregnant so we were looking to move into a house which offered us more space and needed little work. Daniel was born in December and we moved in after the new year so it all worked out really well," said Cherlyn.

The couple had looked at other new build properties in Coventry before they visited Spirit Quarters. After visiting Bovis Homes, they quickly decided to buy the three-bedroomed Beardsley property.

Mike, who works at St Michael's Hospital in Warwick said: "When we were researching into buying a new home we realised we could get better value for our money simply by moving 10 miles up from Warwick. With our first baby on the way, we wanted to start saving towards the future and the move to Coventry has helped us to do that."

Vicky Scott said: "It's fantastic to welcome Mike, Cherlyn and baby Daniel to our neighbourhood, one of many new families who are moving into the area. It feels like just the other day when work first started on this site. It really is exciting seeing the neighbourhood change day by day."

Heather Suffield, Regional Marketing Manager at Bovis Homes said: "Spirit Quarters is one of the most affordable housing schemes in Coventry, offering quality homes with some great neighbourhood facilities on the doorstep. We are pleased that Mike and Cherlyn are happy in their new home and already feel like part of the community."

The completion of the 100th property marks a significant milestone in the Spirit Quarters redevelopment which will bring 3,328 new homes to the neighbourhood. The scheme, part of the wider regeneration of the area which has already seen £54m of investment in the community infrastructure, is a partnership between Whitefriars Housing, Coventry City Council, Homes and Communities Agency, Moat House Community Trust and developers Bovis Homes, Keepmoat Homes and Persimmon Homes.

 

Visit a Spirit Quarters show home!

Prospective buyers can now take a look inside show homes at Spirit Quarters from the comfort of their own home.

Online visitors can now take a video tour and see first-hand what kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms look like inside the different properties available in the scheme. The short videos allow viewers to get a feel for the size and style of a new property before they visit sales offices.

The new video gallery will also include one-to-one interviews with new homeowners and tenants who have moved into the Spirit Quarters neighbourhood. To view these click here.

 

Christmas switch on at Spirit Quarters

More than 300 visitors turned up at Moat House Leisure Centre this weekend to visit Santa and watch the official Christmas tree lights switch on.

The first-time event, which was sponsored by Spirit Quarters partners redeveloping the neighbourhood, attracted hundreds of local children who wanted a moment with Santa in his Grotto.

After visiting Santa, many children opted to take part in a host of other activities taking place on the day such as face painting, biscuit decorating, card making and henna tattoos. There was also a birds of prey display and stalls selling handmade jewellery and second-hand gifts.

Festivities kicked off following the annual One Voice community conference which took place earlier that morning, where local people received an update on their neighbourhood from local agencies.

To mark the end of the successful event, Coventry North MP Bob Ainsworth switched on the lights to the 10ft Christmas tree, picked the winner for the One Voice raffle and presented the prize for the children's colouring-in competition.

For more photos from this event visit Spirit Quarters in Coventry on Facebook www.facebook.com/spiritquarterscoventry

 

Coventry scheme is bucking the trend

Despite the bleak outlook in the property market, the future looks bright for one of the largest regeneration schemes in the Midlands.

Spirit Quarters in Coventry, a £360m public-private redevelopment partnership is bucking the trend with new properties being snapped up at a rate of 1.5 properties a week – whilst the national average remains at 0.45 a week.

The developers have already sold 70% of the first phase,. A further 230 new homes are on their way, with the start of the second phase later this month.

Eamonn McInerney, Sales and Marketing Manager at Keepmoat Homes explained why buyers were attracted to the redevelopment: "Spirit Quarters is one of the most affordable housing schemes in Coventry, with a range of houses and apartments on offer. Our current bestseller is the three-bedroom Whittle which has sold out on the first phase and we are already taking details for buyers on the next phase."

"In addition to this, the neighbourhood has a host of new facilities - new schools, community centres and the £11m Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre. This attracts buyers who recognise Spirit Quarters as an up and coming area to live in."

Spirit Quarters is a six-way partnership between Whitefriars Housing, Coventry City Council, Homes and Communities Agency and developers (Bovis, Keepmoat and Persimmon). The scheme kicked off last October after years of critical planning with support from the local community and Moat House Community Trust.

Cllr Linda Bigham, Cabinet Member for City Development, said: "This is just what the people of Coventry need - affordable houses to rent or buy. It looks like the range of properties, the location and the price has hit just the right note."

Kevin Roach, Spirit Quarters Project Director said: "This is positive news for all partners involved in the scheme. Not only are we bucking the home-buying trend, we are also one of the few regeneration schemes in England which is still continuing despite the tough economic conditions. This is very much because of the commitment of all partners involved and key support from our funders, the Homes and Communities Agency."

 

Street name tribute for community champion

A former community champion was remembered today when the first street sign in Coventry's £360m Spirit Quarters redevelopment was set in place in his honour.

Tipton Way was named after Roger Tipton, who passed away in 2009 after serving ten years as resident chair on the New Deal for Communities (NDC) Partnership Board.

Members of the Regeneration Action Team, a group of local residents involved in the housing redevelopment, decided to pay tribute to Roger by naming the first new road in the redevelopment after him.

Ian Tipton, a relative of Roger Tipton said: "To have this street named after Roger is a fitting tribute to the hard work he carried out in the community. He was a simple man who got immense pleasure from seeing positive changes to his local neighbourhood and his memory still lives on today."

The Spirit Quarters housing redevelopment kicked off in June 2010 following years of critical planning amongst partners and residents, of which Roger played a key role.

Kevin Roach, Project Director for Spirit Quarters, said: “Roger always worked closely with partners and residents to ensure the success of the regeneration in this area. He would have been extremely proud of what residents have achieved since he left us and that despite a tough housing market, we are all pushing ahead and creating an area where people want to come and live.”

Five new street names were picked last year when residents, including a group of 20 Junior Street Champions, were invited by Whitefriars and the Regeneration Action Team to choose names for the new streets being built around the former Deedmore Primary School site. Tipton Way was the first name to be selected, followed by Dragonfly Drive, Butterfly Walk, Kingfisher Close and Cray Fish Close.

Alan Tyrrell, a close friend of Roger and Chairman of Henley Green Residents Association said: "Roger was completely dedicated to serving his community and I know he would have been touched by this tribute. Having Tipton Way named after him is a truly memorable way to remember his spirit."

Spirit Quarters ‘Coventry’s New Place of Pride’ is one of the largest housing regeneration schemes in the Midlands and is being delivered through a partnership made up of Whitefriars Housing, Coventry City Council, the Homes and Communities Agency, Moat House Community Trust and a developer consortium - Bovis Homes, Keepmoat Homes and Westbury Partnerships.

154 new homes are mid-way through build and the second phase of 230 new homes is due to start soon. Throughout the life of the scheme more than 3,000 new homes will be built across the four estates of Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore.

 

Demolition day for eyesore flats

A long standing vacant property in Wood End is coming down as demolitions kick off as part of the Spirit Quarters regeneration in north east Coventry.

Work started today on knocking down the former Wood End Advice Centre building on Hillmorton Road which has been empty for more than 12 months after the Advice Centre moved to its new home in Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre.

The demolitions have been welcomed by local residents who live nearby and have often complained about the empty flats.

Joan Pinfield, a volunteer Wood End Community Centre said: "Hurrah! It's great news to hear that these old flats are finally being demolished. It will help to make our neighbourhood look much more appealing, especially with the new houses coming soon.

"My house is opposite the building so it will be wonderful to wake up and see the blue sky and green grass instead of those horrible gray flats."

Henley ward Councillor Ed Ruane welcomed the news that the eyesore building was finally being demolished as part of efforts to improve the environment for the local community.

"It's certainly welcome news for local residents to learn that this eyesore is finally coming down, and a further sign of how the regeneration of the area is still continuing and moving forward even in this difficult economic climate."

A number of demolitions will be taking place in the next few months as part of the overall regeneration of Wood End, Manor Farm, Henley Green and Deedmore. The project has already seen new schools, community centres, health centres and a leisure centre built in the area. 

3,328 new homes are also being built in the neighbourhood as part of the Spirit Quarters housing redevelopment, a partnership between Whitefriars Housing, Coventry City Council, Moat House Community Trust and a developer consortium made up of Bovis Homes, Keepmoat Homes and Persimmon Homes. The scheme is also receiving significant investment from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency.

 

Cabbie Backs Citywide Campaign

Coventry taxi driver Vicky Scott is hoping her efforts to back a marketing campaign for the new Spirit Quarters development in Coventry will bring people flocking to her neighbourhood to buy a home.

A cab driver for over 20 years, Vicky is branding her black hackney carriage taxi for the next 12 months with a Spirit Quarters advert on both sides to encourage people to take a second look at where she lives.

The campaign, which celebrates the regeneration of Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore in north east Coventry, marks the Spirit Quarters development as Coventry's new place of pride.

Offering a selection of two, three and four bedroom homes, the £360m redevelopment is taking place round the corner from where Vicky lives and she can already see the benefits the long awaited regeneration project is bringing.

"This redevelopment project has led to great things in our neighbourhood. Over the years we have seen new schools, health centres, community centres and play areas built. And now we have the new homes too, alongside our new leisure and neighbourhood centre.

"Not many people can say this, but I love where I live and I'm proud to back the Spirit Quarters campaign by branding my cab."

Vicky’s cab is part of a citywide marketing campaign which includes advertising on Coventry buses, billboards, radio and a mobile ad van.

The redevelopment, located just opposite Henley College, will see 3,328 new homes built over 15 years, affecting the lives of around 7,000 residents who currently live in the existing neighbourhoods in Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore.

The Spirit Quarters scheme is a partnership between Whitefriars Housing, Coventry City Council, Moat House Community Trust and a developer consortium made up of Bovis Homes, Keepmoat Homes and Persimmon Homes. The scheme is also receiving significant investment from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency.

 

Next 230 homes get green light as funding is confirmed

Communities in North East Coventry are celebrating this week as funding has been secured to maintain momentum on the £360m transformation of their area.

Investment secured through the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Coventry City Council and Whitefriars Housing will see another 230 homes get underway, taking the total number being built to nearly 400.

This latest phase of 230 homes will be built over the next three years and is worth around £21m. There will be 144 homes available for private sale, 60 for affordable rent, 20 for shared ownership and six for low cost home ownership. Properties will be a mix of 2-4 bedroomed houses and flats.

Kevin Roach, project director for Spirit Quarters and head of regeneration at WM Housing Group, said: “Partners and the local community have all worked extremely hard together to reach this exciting stage in the regeneration and with investment provided by the HCA and Coventry City Council we can continue to bring so many people new homes. Although the development is taking place at a slower pace than originally planned, it is still encouraging to see Spirit Quarters continue in these difficult financial times.”

Paul Spooner, executive director for the HCA Midlands said; “The HCA is committed to securing successful regeneration and high quality new homes at Spirit Quarters and I am pleased that with our investment, the next phase is able to proceed.”

Paul Degg, Managing Director of Keepmoat Homes Midlands, said: “We are all aware of the pressures on public funding so it is testament to the hard work and effort already expended by the partnership that the scheme justifies public investment.

"This funding bolsters the private investment which we are committing and ensures continued housing delivery to build upon the positive impact we have already made, which will in turn encourage further private investment into the community.”

Cllr Linda Bigham, Cabinet Member for City Development, said: "This is great news for Coventry. Affordable housing, both to buy and to rent, is in short supply across the city. This type of development transforms not only the community in immediate area, but it proves that Coventry is the place for businesses to relocate and that there is adequate and affordable housing for their staff."

Being branded across the city as ‘Spirit Quarters – Coventry’s New Place of Pride’ – the new development is situated in the Wood End and Deedmore areas of Coventry, which are undergoing massive regeneration along with neighbouring Henley Green and Manor Farm.

Martin Smith, Henley Green resident and Chair of the Regeneration Action Team, a resident group which is overseeing development said: "Since work started last year the transformation of the area has gone from strength to strength. Local residents are extremely happy that despite a tough housing market, we are pushing ahead and creating an area where people want to come and live."

Spirit Quarters is one of the largest housing regeneration schemes in the Midlands and is being delivered through a partnership including Whitefriars Housing, Coventry City Council, the HCA, Moat House Community Trust and a developer consortium - Bovis Homes, Keepmoat Homes and Westbury Partnerships.

Throughout the life of the scheme more than 3,000 new homes will be built across the four estates of Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore. Community infrastructure is already complete following the £54m government investment through the New Deal for Communities programme which came to an end this year. Three new schools, new play areas and a state of the art leisure and neighbourhood centre already serve the local communities which are leading to rising educational achievement, longer life expectancy and falling crime rates.

 

Celebrating Change

Earlier this year schoolchildren from the Spirit Quarters neighbourhood put on an educational play to celebrate the changes to their area in the last decade.

Moat House Primary and Henley Green Primary worked with Cre8us, a creative agency part of the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Partnership, to put together a special performance reflecting on change over the past ten years and looking forward to further change in the next ten years.

The performance was commissioned by Coventry New Deal for Communities to mark the end of £54m of regeneration in the local area.

"Coventry NDC finished a ten year programme of social and physical change in the North-East of Coventry. This partnership between residents, public sector, private and third sector organisations has achieved significant change during this period, said Afzal Hussain, NDC Director.

"Children and schools have been at the heart of this work and there have been excellent advances in education in the area."

Since 2001, more than £6.5m has been spent to improve access to early learning education, primary education and secondary education. In addition to this, further investment from the City Council and private education providers now means the Spirit Quarters neighbourhood can offer some of the best education facilities in North Coventry.

Educational facilities in the area include three Primary Schools, one Children's Centre, one Special Needs School, three Secondary Schools and one further education college.

A snapshot of education facilities in the Spirit Quarters neighbourhood…

The new Moat House Primary School opened in 2004 after Eburne Primary and Wood End Primary amalgamated Henley Green Primary School was rebuilt in 2004, with new community facilities attached

  • A new Moat House Early Years Children's Centre opened in 2004
  • The new Castle Wood Broad Spectrum School open in 2010
  • The new Grace Academy was opened in 2010
  • Henley College Coventry is opening its new e-skills building in Autumn 2011
  • Other existing Primary Schools include St Patrick's Primary
  • Other existing Secondary Schools include Cardinal Wiseman and Lyng Hall
 

Community Cafe

Moat House Café is the community café located on Winston Avenue, 1 minute away from the Spirit Quarters redevelopment.

Offering fresh, homemade, healthy food, the café has daily specials where you can enjoy delicious, hot meals like Fish and Chips and Chicken Curry and Rice from as little as £3.50.

Anne Hornsby, Café Supervisor said:  “Our menu consists of a variety of healthy, affordable food that is quite different to what you would find in other cafes around Coventry. Located inside the Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre, the Café is the ideal place for meeting with friends over breakfast, lunch or dinner, or if you just want a nice cup of tea or coffee in friendly surroundings.”

Moat House Cafe is a social enterprise (a business where profits go towards helping people) owned by Moat House Community Trust.

The cafe also provides a catering service for local businesses and events. To make bookings contact the café on 024 7661 9711 or check out the website www.mhcafe.co.uk

 

A Place To Work

Coventry's north east regeneration of Wood End, Henley Green, Manor Farm and Deedmore is preparing for a second drive to bring job opportunities to local young people.

The £360m scheme off Henley Road being termed as 'Coventry's new place of pride' is preparing to recruit young adults interested in shared apprenticeships in partnership with City College Coventry, training schemes or work experience placements. In the last year six local young people who were not in education, employment or training have had the opportunity to get involved in the ambitious scheme.

Success stories includes local residents William Mpoka who initially started off on work experience and is now preparing to enrol in a BTEC HNC in Construction and Thomas Barlow who will be starting a bricklaying apprenticeship in September after completing a one year placement.

Kevin Roach, project director for Spirit Quarters said: "Both William and Thomas are fantastic examples of how young people can use the Spirit Quarters development as a springboard into future employment."

For more information about the Spirit Quarters scheme and details of how local people can start a career in construction please contact the Construction Employment Unit on 024 7681 5240 or visit The Workshop in Riley Square, Bell Green.

 

Residents Welcome

Local residents in the Spirit Quarters neighbourhood were on hand to welcome the first new resident to the area following completion of the new properties.

Caroline Flavell moved into her new 3-bedroomed Keepmoat Home on Petitor Crescent where on arrival she received a specially prepared Welcome Pack, holding a whole host of useful household items like light bulbs, teabags and coffee as a moving-in gift from the Deedmore Residents Association.

Caroline said: “It was a wonderful surprise receiving the gift from the local community, it was completely unexpected and made moving in a little bit more special! We are loving making our new house a home and look forward to meeting our new neighbours.”

Vicky Scott, Chair of Deedmore Residents Association, said: “We wanted to do something to make sure that all families who move into the new homes felt welcome and informed of what was going on in the neighbourhood”.

The Spirit Quarters area has a strong history of residents who are committed to the area. There are four resident groups making it a neighbourly area.

 

 

Centre Celebrations

An award-winning neighbourhood facility in the Spirit Quarters area celebrated its two year anniversary this year.

The £11m Moat House Leisure and Neighbourhood Centre, funded by Coventry NDC, The Football Foundation and Sport England, was officially opened in March 2009. On the opening day local residents joined former Coventry FC Manager Chris Coleman and then Regional Minister Ian Austin MP to sign a special plaque to mark the opening ceremony.

Since then the boomerang shaped building has been recognised as a real community hub and has scooped a number of different awards including the FORCE Regeneration Award and Best Health and Fitness venue at the 2010 Godiva Awards.

The Centre is the newest leisure facility in the whole of Coventry.

Alan Tyrell, a local resident who was a driving force behind the setting up of the Centre said: “Local people are proud to have such excellent facilities on their doorstep. Two years later it’s easy to see the benefits this building has brought to the area.”



 

Henley College

Work on a new £725k building at Henley College Coventry, located opposite the Spirit Quarters redevelopment, is now underway after receiving the green light from Coventry Council.

Constructors have now started work on the additional storey to the e-skills building at the further education and training college. The new facility which will consist of nine new classrooms, working areas and toilet facilities.College Estates Manager Peter Hammond said: “We’re delighted to have been able to commence the construction on time and look forward to having a fantastic facility up and running in time for the start of the new academic year in September.”

The new facility will be used by students studying Early Years and Health and Social Care programmes which have seen a considerable increase in numbers over the years.

Principal Ray Goy added: “The number of students in these areas continues to increase and we need to make sure students have great facilities. This is another step towards realising our ambition of first class facilities for Henley College student.